World Bank Group and The 2030 Agenda

The World Bank Group’s Twin Goals, the SDGs, and the 2030 Development Agenda

The World Bank Group has a treaty-based relationship with the United Nations (UN) that dates back to its founding, and through that relationship, works to build a partnership that supports Member States and contributes to effective development outcomes while preserving the distinct mandates of each institution. Over the years, the WBG has collaborated with the UN in nearly every region and sector, and its engagement has deepened since the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and now with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

2015 was a historic year with the adoption of a new approach to development finance through the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, a disaster risk framework in Sendai, and the Paris Climate Agreement at COP21. These efforts will guide the UN system and the UN-World Bank Group partnership through 2030. The SDGs are aligned with the World Bank Group’s twin goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity, and the WBG is working with client countries to deliver on the 2030 agenda through three critical areas: (i) finance, (ii) data, and (iii) implementation – supporting country-led and country-owned policies to attain the SDGs. 

The Sustainable Development Goals adopted in 2015 are an historic global achievement. These 17 targets, in areas such as health, gender, jobs, and poverty reduction, are part of a comprehensive global agenda to end poverty in a single generation.

The SDGs, which were formulated with strong participation from the World Bank Group, are fully consistent with the World Bank Group’s own twin goals to end poverty and build shared prosperity in a sustainable manner.

Nearly 800 million people now live in extreme poverty – earning $1.90 per day or less. For the first time, the world has set a deadline for ending extreme poverty -- by 2030. Among the 17 SDGs, ending extreme poverty is goal number one, and it is the same for the World Bank Group. 

Over the past years, the World Bank Group has made several commitments related to the 2030 Development Agenda, including, but not limited to: the MDBs agreement in Addis in 2015 to a collective $400 billion in development spending from 2016-2018, as well as measures to promote domestic resource mobilization; at our Annual Meetings in Lima, the Bank Group commitment to Household Budget Surveys for the 78 poorest countries;  and the at Paris Agreement talks, the Bank Group’s announced targets for the percentage of our portfolio that will be climate financing.

The World Bank Group can help catalyze the SDGs and the rest of the 2030 agenda through thought leadership, global convening, and country-level uptake.

On thought leadership, a great deal of analytical rigor is required, and it is already underway, from the World Development Indicators, to the Trajectories for Sustainable Development Report, and expected adaptations to the Global Monitoring Report.

Our convening role as an institution will continue to involve us as leaders and members of global partnerships, of course exploiting the Bank’s own comparative advantages, while bringing along other partners to fill gaps, especially the private sector.

Finally, at country-level we need the World Bank Group listens to our country partners that are seeking to reach the SDGs. The SDGs and twin goals help us focus our conversations with country clients around shared goals, and solidify global partnerships to build durable global public goods to address the world’s toughest challenges -- such as fragility, climate change, pandemics, or stunting -- each which has  devastating effects on the poor and vulnerable.

Each year will bring new challenges and opportunities for engagement. The Bank Group has unique assets in financing and knowledge which can contribute to the development of more durable global public goods to address global challenges. Each of these require action immediately if we are to have an impact by 2030 – the year we aspire to achieve both the World Bank Group’s twin goals, and the SDGS.




On September 25, 2015, the UN General Assembly adopted a new set of global development goals. All member countries are now using these objectives to frame their development agendas and political policies over the next 15 years.

Youth engagement throughout the design and implementation of the SDGs is critical for their success. The innovative and fresh ideas it takes to tackle the new challenges the world faces will most likely come from the youth.

Ideas for Action provides students and young professionals from around the world with a unique opportunity to help shape the international development agenda and to take an active role in changing the world.

A joint program of the World Bank Group and the Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research at the Wharton School, Ideas for Action is a knowledge platform connecting young leaders all around the world who are passionate about the future development of our world.

We host an annual competition during which youths from around the world design ideas for financing the UN’s  new development agenda. The competition acts as a catalyst to spark global conversation among millenials and seeks to encourage them to contribute their own voice to the development conversation.

Core goals of the initiative:

  • Innovative Ideas: Developing innovative ideas that positively shape both the policy and business ecosystem, thus providing an enabling environment where novel ideas can flourish and a too narrow focus on “business plans” can be avoided.
  • Policy-Making: Influencing leading development, public policy, and business leaders so that they can make more informed decisions that also reflect the inspiration and dedication of young people and their leadership and entrepreneurial spirit.
  • Implementation: Striving to move from innovative ideas to actionable solutions. We seek to develop scalable partnership models in the fields of entrepreneurship, finance, development economics, technology, health, education, and environment.
  • Community: Providing young leaders from around the world with access to knowledge, networking opportunities, mentorship, opportunities to connect with like minded youths, a dedicated incubator, and potential financing opportunities.

For more information, click here.

 In 2015, all 193 United Nations member countries signed on to 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to "create the future we want in 2030."

SDGs&Her is an online competition for women entrepreneurs to showcase how they are supporting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through their business operations. The objectives of the initiative are to:

  • recognize women implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including women business owners of microenterprises;
  • increase knowledge about the SDGs and their potential impacts on women among non-traditional audiences; and
  • collaborate with private sector partners on all SDGs, but SDG5 in particular; to share best practices and innovative ideas.

The first ever SDGs&Her competition in 2018 attracted over 1,200 contenders through an online competition platform from 88 countries. The 2019 contest attracted over 1,200 entries from all regions of the world: Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, South Asia, the Middle East and North Arica, Europe and Central Asia, and East Asia and the Pacific.

Eligibility: The competition is open to women who own and/or lead micro and small enterprises (1-9 employees; under USD $10,000 loan eligibility OR annual sales under $100,000) OR (10-49 employees; under USD $100,000 loan eligibility OR annual sales under $3000,000

To Enter: Applicants complete a short online template, describing their work and linking their initiative/product to 1 or more SDGs.

Judging: Entries will be screened by a university partner and then judged by an expert panel. Judges will determine the winners based on the impact on the SDGs, vision and purpose, and clarity of the entries.

PrizesThe top winners will be recognized in April 2020 at an event on the margins of the 2020 World Bank Group-IMF Spring Meetings in Washington D.C. The stories of the winning women entrepreneur (and many other notable entries) will be shared through partners’ social media and websites.

See information about the 2018 winners here and 2019 winners here

Learn more about the SDGs:

  • Click here to see in detail what each of the 17 SDGs is designed to accomplish, and learn how your business might be already helping.

PartnersWorld Bank Group, Wharton School's Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research, UN Development Programme (UNDP) and UN WomenImage


Stay Connected